Balmog Necroangel's Revelations 
With the increasing number of bands choosing the progressive or experimental (or any of the other derivative sub genres) route to black metal, there seems to be a craving in me for the more raw stuff. I’m talking about the no frills, jarringly abrasive noise that says a big fuck you to everything conventional. So it’s a good thing that I found Balmog when I did. This Spanish three piece’s 2010 EP ‘Necroangel’s Revelations’ was recently re-released by Blackseed Productions ahead of the band’s upcoming second full length. This EP screams out black metal from start to finish and what sets this band apart from most second wave clone bands, is the way the music doesn’t sound contrived.

‘First Revelation’ starts with some guitar feedback, before directly jumping into the action with tremolo riffs and the rapid drumming. From there on, the flow is very natural as the song shifts into a mid paced riffs before the guitars offer the slightest hint of melody with a small bridge section. All three tracks on the record are long and none of them overstay their welcome (well, except for the last track. I’ll get to that one). The way this works is, the band manages to bring in different varieties of the genre into the track. Balmog can go from tremolo frenzy to mid paced atmospheric arpeggios without the listener even noticing the change.

‘Second Revelation’ starts in a similar manner to the first and the sound of church bells add a very gothic tone to the music. There is the slightest hint of thrash metal influence, but at the core it’s unadulterated black metal. The rasps of the vocalist sound demonic, reinforcing that evil feel of the music. This track settles into a more comfortable pacing as it progresses, only to be disrupted by a solo that is well written and one that keeps up with the feel of the track.

The ‘Final Revelation’ starts on a more atmospheric note and the track itself has a less frenzied approach compared to the first two. Once again, this is a track that brings in all the black metal tropes to create an interesting mish mash. Around the half way point, the track slows down and gothic chants (I think it’s in Latin?) chime in. The guitars, the agonizing vocals and the mild chanting in the background create a very interesting dynamic which lasts for like a couple of minutes. After this, the guitars die down, but the chanting does not and it continues alone till the end of the track. Having a dramatic finish is fine, but having only gothic chants for two and half minutes is a bit annoying.
The last couple of minutes aside, Balmog’s ‘Necroangel’s Revelations’ is a solid black metal EP which carries the black metal motif like a classic. It’s a refreshing glimpse into the raw side of the genre, while everybody else is busy making it progressive.

Rating: 76%

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